The ‘Self-Discovery’ posts are a series of blog posts about what you want and need, your values, principles and how you put these into practice in your daily life.
We all carry our ‘invisible backpack’ around with us, filled with experiences, and more. It has an impact on how you think, feel, and behave. We are unpacking your ‘invisible backpack’ with these ‘Self-Discovery’ posts.
This time we are going to look into who you are.
Your wants and needs
The last time, you have drawn or written about an event in your life wherein you elaborated on what you want and need, the choices you made, whether it was influenced by others, other opportunities, or ‘purely’ coming from you, or maybe it is a combination of different things.
I have also encouraged you to question yourself what the reasons are for including ‘you’ in your descriptions and drawings. What were your answers?
I believe that including yourself in the descriptions and drawings are ways to make yourself part of your life, to encourage you to understand that you play a role in your life, that you have control over what you think, do, and feel.
Looking back at the event that you have drawn or described: were there things you could have done differently? Write about this as a separate entry in your ‘Self-Discovery’ journal. How are you going to put ‘the things that you could have done differently’ into reality?
Keep practising writing about your life events. It could be happenings from the past or it might have occurred recently.
By writing and drawing about you, your life events, and focusing on what you want and need, you are stepping back from yourself. Yes, you include ‘you’ in your descriptions of drawings which is a form of accepting and acknowledging what went on (stepping into your world), but seeing a hard copy of parts of your life and re-reading your diary entries so once in a while, you are practising to step out of your world. Stepping in and stepping out of your own world helps you in relating to others in a healthy way. More about relationships later on in one of the ‘Self-Discovery’ posts.
Back to the topic of this post:
Who are you?
On one of my courses, one of my students approached me after class. He shared that he is used to exploring and researching. In his work he would look at different scenarios to solve an issue. At a small scale he and his team would try out each scenario and record the results. The scenario with the results they want to achieve then would be implemented at a greater scale.
He was quite surprised to realise he never took the opportunity to find out who he is.
I think some of us may recognise the way this student explains how we forget ourselves.
Now … who are you really? What do you like? How do you usually react? What is the reason that you like something? What is the reason that you respond in a certain way?
Questions for you to answer in your ‘Self-Discovery’ journal:
To help you along… here are some questions you could answer, taken from the chapter ‘Self-Awareness’ from Jan Sutton and William Stuart:
Answering these questions will help you:
- create a greater understanding of you;
- discover the contents of your own invisible backpack;
- become more aware of yourself;
- explore and reflect on your insights.
Here are the questions:
- Name – How important is it to you?
- Gender – Are you satisfied with being who you are?
- Body – Are you satisfied with your physical appearance?
- Abilities – What are you particularly good at?
- Mind – Do you feel OK about your intellectual ability?
- Age – Are you comfortable with the age you are now?
- Birth – How do you feel about where you were born?
- Culture(s) – Where were you brought up? If you have moved between different cultures what influences has this had?
- People – Who influenced you most when growing up?
- Mother – What is your opinion of your mother?
- Father – What is your opinion of your father? If you have no parents, how did that influence you?
- Siblings – What is your opinion of your brothers / sisters? If you have no brothers or sisters, what influence has that had?
- Education – What influence did your education have? What would you like to have achieved but did not?
- Employment – List the various jobs you have had, the people you remember associated with those jobs, and the overall influence of the work and the associated people.
- Spouse – If you are married, how has your spouse influenced you?
- Children – How have your children influenced you? If you wanted children, and you were unable to have them, how has that influenced you?
- Unmarried – If you are unmarried, or have no partner, what influence does that have?
- Preferences – How do your sexual preferences influence you?
- Values – What values do you have, and what influence do they exert? Have you taken them over from other people without thinking about them?
- Beliefs – What are your fundamental beliefs? How did you acquire them?
- Religion – If you are religious, what influence does that exert? If you have no religion, what influence does that exert?
- Experiences – What life experiences are significant for you, and why?
- Health – How have any illnesses or accidents influenced you?
- Memories – What memories do you treasure, and what memories do you try hard to forget?
- Relationships – What relationships in the past are you glad you had, and what relationships do you wish you had never had?
- Circumstances – What life circumstances, past or present, do you welcome, and which do you regret?
- Authority – Who represents authority for you, in the past and now? What influence do these authority figures exert on you?
- Strengths – What are your major strengths, and how might these influence your ability to listen to helpees or clients?
- Weaknesses – What are your major weaknesses, and how might these influence your ability to listen to helpees or clients?
- Virtues – What do you consider to be your virtues? How do they influence your behaviour?
- Vices – Do you have any vices, and how do they influence your relationships?
Did you gain insight into the contents of your invisible backpack by answering these questions?
Be aware of yourself. Accept yourself.
If you can and are willing to develop awareness of self, and if you can accept yourself, you will find it easier to accept others.
Have fun writing or drawing.